Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DANISH HOSTAGES RELEASED BY SOMALIAN PIRATES

Seven Danish hostages, including a family with teenage children, were released by Somalian pirates early today, after more than six months in captivity. The Danes — a couple with three children ages 12-16 and two crew members — were captured in the Indian Ocean on February 24, while sailing around the world in a yacht.

COMMENT: No information has as yet been announced as to the conditions of release or whether a ransom was paid. Reportedly, the victims of the kidnapping are on their way back to Denmark. Jan Quist Johansen; his wife, Birgit Marie Johansen,;their sons Rune and Hjalte and daughter Naja; were captured along with the two adult Danish crew members when their 43-foot (13-meter) yacht was seized by pirates.

The yacht was seized while the Johansens were sailing through pirate-active waters off East Africa.
It is understandable that tankers and commercial ships may be exposed to pirates in the process of engaging in international commerce (and hopefully they have effective security plans in place in how to counter such threats), but for the life of me, I cannot understand why recreational yacht owners would intentionally navigate within 800 miles of Somalia, when it is a DISCRETIONARY choice. What were they thinking of?

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